National College Football Championship: Fan guide for the 2018 game in Atlanta

  • AJC Staff
Jan 03, 2018

The 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game between Georgia and Alabama will be played in Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

»RELATED: College football championship survival guide: Parking, tailgating, MARTA, what not to bring

The new stadium stands next door to the site of the Georgia Dome, or more precisely next to the rubble of the Georgia Dome, which was imploded just before Thanksgiving.

If you’re going to the game, here are some resources to help you find out how to get there, where to eat, where to tailgate and enjoy yourself.

How to take MARTA to Mercedes Benz Stadium

If you thought traffic and parking were tough for events at the Georgia Dome, consider this: The Mercedes-Benz Stadium can hold more people. So if you’re heading that way for College Football Championship game between Georgia and Alabama, it might not be a bad idea to take MARTA.

What can you bring into Mercedes Benz Stadium

With a new stadium comes questions about what will and will not be allowed inside. For all public and ticketed events, security practices will abide by the NFL Clear Bag policy.The NFL strongly encourages fans to not bring any type of bags, but each person — including children — is allowed one large, clear bag and a small clutch. Read more.

Food and concessions: Eating and drinking at Mercedes Benz Stadium

Long before the new stadium opened, the builders of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and team owners announced a fan-first model for the new stadium. Where food is concerned, stadiumgoers can expect more affordable food and drinks, plus a breadth of offerings from food service contractor Levy Restaurants and partner restaurants. Read more.

»RELATED: College national championship game in Atlanta — fun ideas for kids

Restaurants near the SEC Championship in downtown Atlanta

Headed downtown to an event at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Centennial Olympic Park or the Georgia World Congress Center? Here, some restaurants within walking distance where you’re sure to find dishes to get you in proper formation.

Tailgating near Mercedes Benz Stadium

Because the new stadium was built less than 100 feet away from the Georgia Dome, “tailgating will fundamentally look the same,” according to Mike Gomes, senior vice president of fan experience for AMB Sports and Entertainment, parent company of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United. The so-called Gulch   — that vast tangle of parking lots and rail lines that sits below Philips Arena and stretches nearly to Five Points — will still have a thriving tailgate scene, and the lots alongside Northside Drive will still be the primary options for traditional tailgating. Read more.

Before you go: 7 things to make you sound like a Mercedes Benz Stadium expert

Nearly every aspect of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a massive project birthed in early 2010, has commanded Atlanta’s attention for years. Fans of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United have already learned their way around the place. If the College Football Championship is your first visit, we have made a list of seven things you should know about the city’s new shiny, monstrous, can’t-miss-it stadium.

What happened to the Georgia Dome?

After a quarter century as Atlanta’s domed football stadium -- home to NFL, Peach Bowl games and past SEC Championships, among others --  the Georgia Dome was imploded the Monday before Thanksgiving. The last public event in the Dome was a doubleheader of Monster Truck shows in March 2017



From the moment you walk in, to the everything inside the stadium. Technology is everywhere at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)
Ahead of the stadium’s opening, we take a first-look at and hear from the creators of the food and beverage offerings. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)